Q Community Issues

This week I am presenting to you more issues that those in the LGBTQ+ community are confronted with routinely. I'd like to continue with microaggressions directed towards those in the Q community. All too many times micro-assaults are swept under the rug and never addressed. These include explicit homophobic derogation characterized primarily by a verbal or nonverbal attack meant to hurt the intended victim. This is usually through the use of name- calling, avoidant behavior or purposeful discriminatory actions. Microinsults is another in which unconscious and unintentional like subtle glares of disgust or shock is displayed when those in the Q community show public displays of affection.

When statements that exclude, negate or nullify LGBTQ+ experiences like a heterosexual adamantly denying they are homophobic after a person in the Q community confronts them about a bias statement is verbalized this screams micro-invalidation. Other blatant actions that are often displayed include various phobias. When fear, hatred and disgust towards people who have feelings of love and sexual attraction for members of the same gender or are not aligned with their gender identity presents this is the time to do some self assessing.

Ask yourself why does this fear, hatred or disgust present. Predjudice based on personal belief that LGBTQ+ are immoral, sick, sinful or inferior to heterosexuals marks a person as homophobic, biphobic and/ or transphobic. Ask yourself, do you apply to any of these phobias? These are problematic issues that persist and could be eliminated with all human beings learning and developing an understanding about other cultures outside of one's own.


Good Communication Starts with 5 Simple Things

Do you want to have better communication with the people in your life? The ability to communicate is an essential skill in today's world. Good communication is key to all relationships and it starts with 5 simple things:


1.  Listen to learn; not to judge 

Avoid criticism, name calling and diagnosing.

2.  Pay attention to the person speaking

Look at the person speaking and put away electronic devices.  

3.  Use language relevant to the person you are speaking to

Avoid technical terms that are not relevant to the person

4.  Only offer advice when asked

Some people would like to come to a solution on their own.

5. Address the concerns of the speaker

Take the person's concerns into account.


Another important aspect of good communication is body language. Facial expressions, gestures and posture speak volumes. Nonverbal cues can be just as important as verbal expression. If you want better communication, go ahead and try these 5 simple things!


Recognizing and Negotiating Conflict

Problems and conflict are part of life - they are natural and inevitable. Conflict does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. When conflict occurs, the relationship may be weakened or strengthened.Not being able to recognize and address conflict can leave you feeling angry, upset, misunderstood or helpless. However, if the conflict is handled well, it can be productive - allowing both people to feel respected and validated. 


Healthy ways to recognize and negotiate conflict

  • Conflict must be viewed as a problem that can be solved mutually - finding a solution that is acceptable to both. 

  • Each person must participate actively in the resolution and make an effort and commitment to find answers which are as fair as possible.

  • Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or being right. 

  • Ues effective communication techniques- Use "I" statements, use empathy, and practice active listening

  • Focus on the situation rather than the person- don't attack

  • Ask questions using exploration rather than domination- Try asking open-ended question that provokes communication 

  • Be respectful

  • Brainstorm possible solutions together


Conflict is hard, but these are healthy ways to communicate and negotiate conflict. Remember conflict happens and it can be productive if handled with care.


Resilience In Mental Health

When you have resilience, you harness inner strength that helps you bounce back from difficult stressors. Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.  


Resilience does not make problems go away — but gives us the ability to see past them, find enjoyment in life and better handle stress. 

In the mental health world resilience can help improve ability to cope and handel difficult situations. Below are a few ways we can build resilience. 


Ways to build resilience 

Get Connected: Building strong, positive relationships can provide support and acceptance in both good times and bad. 

Maintain Hopeful Outlook: We can't change the past, but we can keep hopeful towards our future. 

Accept Change: Accepting situations that can't be changed can help us focus on situations that we do have control over.

Take Care Of Yourself- Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. 

Make days count:Let's do something that gives us a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. 


Becoming more resilient takes time and practice, and you are worth it!


The Dream Team Communication Playbook

Any team sport athlete can tell you that effective communication is vital to the success of a any offense or defense. Team players understand their own role and responsibilities but also need to be able to communicate when they need help, anticipate potential issues, or point out teammates’ blind spots. This is all helpful and productive in the context of shared goals and assuming positive intent. If there is division, selfish motives, or unhealthy players, the team likely will lose. 


Communication is defined as “the act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic rules.” Each couple has to come up with their own mutually understood signs, symbols and rules. This applies in conflict situations as well as sharing information and feelings. Creating and practicing your own healthy communication “playbook” with your partner can be highly useful for those game time situations that will catch you off guard.As you begin, here are a few helpful pointers: 


  • Make statements that start with “I” instead of “You.”

  • Explain and describe versus accuse

  • Be in tuned to your own needs remembering to H.A.L.Tif necessary

  • Compromise so both parties “win” 

  • Be open to learning from each other and about each other

  • Practice “quick, slow, slow” - Quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry

  • Know both you and your partner’s verbal and nonverbal triggers

  • Maintain even TVC when talking - tone, volume, and cadence

  • Validate, validate, validate!

  • Ask for clarification, don’t assume

  • Play to your strengths 


At the end of the day, remember to affirm good efforts and small victories. Championships are never won in just one game, but through a compilation of daily efforts, practice, re-evaluation, and improving where weakest. 


Conflict and Positive Intent

One of the concepts from the business world that transfers well to struggling couples is assuming positive intent. Many times couples come in experiencing gridlock in communications and conflict resolution. They are quick to become defensive and assume their partner is always trying to “win or be right.” After weeks, months or years of functioning this way, the environment becomes very hostile and it can be hard to remember the team commitment once made at the alter. This concept is not a novel one and simply implores giving others the benefit of the doubt. This combined with a little empathy can go a long way. 

The first step in assuming positive intent is to create self-awareness around what it is your partner is doing or saying that is bothersome. Identify the trigger and acknowledge your reactive emotion. Then, step back, and ask yourself, “Is that in my partner’s nature to try to frustrate me?” Then allow yourself to step in their shoes for a moment and see the situation from their perspective. More often than not your partner’s behavior is not an attack on you or your relationship. It is simply self-preservation either emotionally, mentally or physically. Then remind yourself that at their best, your partner has your back and would never intentionally harm you. Overall, extend grace to your partner, acknowledge how they feel, and work towards fostering “we is more important than you or me” in your relationship.